I'm not ashamed to admit I didn't always ride the crimson tide of the vampire romance craze.  At first the whole appeal of vamp heroes escaped me, because from what I knew, Nosferatu snoozed in dirt, tore into one's neck, then suckled one bone dry 'til d.e.d. dead.  Not even when a girlfriend described to me the supposed sensuality of the vampire's bite as, ahem, the "ultimate zipperless --" well, you know, did I comprehend the appeal.

Some BN.com community paranormal fiction fans - one in particular, Derek, LordRuthven, lover of all things vamp - got me reminiscing about my conversion to the moist, wet, sanguine side of romance during a discussion at an Unabashedly Bookish post a couple days ago.  BN.com Science Fiction/Paranormal fiction guru Paul Goat Allen asked BN.com viewers what they thought was the difference, if any, between paranormal fiction and para romance.  Along the way, I remembered the scene from Emma Holly's "Courting Midnight  ," in which her Upyr vamp's elongating fangs, radiating thrall and provision of super-sized orgasm for his partner during dental penetration made me a zealot for all things leech.

If you're a devotee of dark n' dreamy men and women of the night with bite - or today's kinder, gentler vamps -- you've got to check out a new place to discover, discuss and dissect all things vampire, VampChix.blogspot.com.  Sure, they talk a lot of vamp romance, but they dig into classic vampire novels of all genres, movies, vintners, TV shows, vampire community news - if it's got anything to do with undead blood imbibers, VampChix dish it.

VampChix also sports "Bite Club," which notes, "We Read Books with Bite!  First rule of Bite Club: Tell everyone about Bite Club.  Second rule of Bite Club: Don't bleed on the freakin' carpet."  This month, the Biters are reading "The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2  ," 30 short, bloody-passionate stories by authors like Diane Whiteside, Larissa Ione and Jennifer Ashley.  Bite Club meets October 30 to start jawin' about the book.

One of my favorite things about VampChix is their joy in paying tribute to male vampires in all their evil-to-sanitized glory.  They love to post hot covers from vamp novels of any ilk, like Jeaniene Frost's "First Drop of Crimson  ," which is just so dern pretty, I had to share it above, left.  Oh, don't thank me, just do yourself a favor and enjoy it with any zoom feature you've got available.

What do you love about vamp romance?  When did you begin enjoying it, and what got you interested in novels with vampire themes?  Who is your fave vamp of all time?

How the Southwest Was Won: New read in the best tradition of western-set fiction. Check it out at Unabashedly Bookish.

by MicheleHauf on ‎10-16-2009 12:45 PM

Hey, Michelle!  Thanks for the props on VampChix and all things bitey!    I think the book that sealed my love for all things vamp was The Vampire Lestat.  That sexy, arrogant, brat prince lured me in with his 18th century rogue-ish charm and his modern-day rockstar appeal.  He is probably my all-time fav vamp.  

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎10-16-2009 02:07 PM

Hi, Michele, thanks for stopping by! I'm really jazzed about VampChix, because it's loaded with all kinds of vamp stuff that women and men dig.  And it's not all romance, which really offers lots of new stuff to check out.  I even loved learning about the sites you guys dig.  Also, it's neat that VampChix celebrates the good 'ol fashioned dark vamp, whose badness makes him more attractive or, to some, just more interesting.  But that doesn't mean you guys aren't going to be doing any squeaky-clean vamp worship, right?  Oh, I loved the Nat'l Lampoon take on "Twilight."  

While I wasn't a reader of vamp stuff, though Stephen King's 'salem's lot' scared the bejeepers outta me way back, I remember the Anne Rice phenomenon, and watched it happen,  It's been interesting to watch the vamp movement grow in romance, and to see the various mythologies evolve, see the differing styles, even to notice which are more intensely formed, and which seem almost written to catch the gravy train. Though I think there are lots of readers who just adore a vamp and will read one in any form, so one tries not to judge which vamp is 'more legit' than another in terms of what a reader enjoys, at least from where I stand and what I try to do. 


But as someone still fairly new to the "style," I'm really enjoying watching what's happening, though I do admit to getting a little cranky when I see the Twilight phenom take off, for example.  My husband's learned to smile patiently and nod in glassy-eyed agreement when I start going off, "But there are SO many fabulous vampire romances that could be made into movies, too!  Why this one?!  Hollywood just doesn't get it.  Some of us want to see vampire movies we can't watch with our teenage daughters!" And then he says, all logical, "but you don't have a teenaged daughter."  And I'm all, "Oh, why don't you just go work for Hollywood."

by Lisa_Kroener on ‎10-16-2009 02:18 PM

Hm, come to think about it, I've never really not enjoyed vampire romance or vampire stories in general, maybe because I started plotting my first "book" at the tender age of 13 and it already featured a vampire heroine. So it seems I've always been kinda fond of them, though I don't really know when that started and with what.


Ah, and baby, ya know why I get hot reading a werewolf giving his mate his mating bite, so you can sure tell what I love about vamp romance. *blinkinginnocently* No, really, do I have to explain how hot taking blood from another is? I mean, as an act of connection, love and gentle domination *blinkinginnocentlyfaster*, ahem, ahem.


Patrice Michelle and her fantabulous Scions-series got me hooked (HAAAAWT!!!!) and since I'm currently some kind of IAD-addicted (and I won't get healed until DKOW arrives here on my doorstep - which, as Amazon informed me today, will last at least one week. Aaaaargh!!!), don't get me started on the famous Wroth-brothers and their insatiable need to mark their Brides. Love 'em. Can't leave 'em. Hach.



by Moderator dhaupt on ‎10-16-2009 02:25 PM

Hi Michele 1 and Michelle 2,

I love your books Michele and to Michelle, I love Vampire romance in fact any kind of paranormal romance wether there's fangs, fur or scales and the reason the pull for me is well it's the ultimate escape book, unless you subscribe to the enquirer you really can't read about vampire love on the pages of your local newspaper. I like the unlikeliness and unbelievability of them and of course to put myself in the heroine's role. Also the paranormal romance is more timeless than most other romances since the characters are often immortal or at least very old it makes for a more enjoyable read for someone who's seen the dark side of 50 like me. I rarely enjoy the 20 something romances because I can't remember when I was 20 and I don't find 20 something heros who are younger than my children sexy.

My favorite Vampire is from Heather Grahams series Lucian, he's the king of vampires and stars in quite a few of Heather's and her aka Shannon Drake's vampire novels. You can read his love story from the 10-02 release of When Darkness Falls. My other favorite Vampire is JR Ward's Wrath also the king of the vampires.

So come and enjoy the dark side of love with me and the rest of the fans.


by PrincessBumblebee on ‎10-16-2009 02:37 PM

MichelleHauf, I'm with you on the Lastat thing. I don't know why, since I wasn't into scary things, but my twin is and must have been wathing it "Queen of the Damned" and I totally fell in love with Lastat! And I just loved that he was not only a vamp but a rock star, too,hehe! OH, my was he hot stuff!

Michelle, I haven't even come near to watching "Twilight", hehe, but have been thinking of listening to it on audio just to see what all the hype is all about. And, yes, I've been to hollywood and from what I've learned from my bro, who is a producer of an indie film company, it's crazy how the movies get made, hehe. Maybe you SHOULD work for him and get more viable books turned to movies. Like Kresley Cole's IAD series!

Lisa, I JUST got DKOW in the mail!Yay! You know what I'll be doing tonight. Lock the doors, close the blinds, turn off phone, curl up with a blanket and your kitty and get ready to enter the world of the Lore! Oh, and I just LOVE how her heroes always have to mark their women! It just gets me every time!

by MicheleHauf on ‎10-16-2009 03:04 PM

Lisa's mention of the wolf bite reminds me of the story I'm reading right now.  Gail Carriger's SOULLESS.  The vamps are nasty in this story, but the werewolf, oh my.  There was some biting going on in a few chapters last night, and....oooohhhh.  While I wouldn't label the book a 'vampire' read, it's definately got them in it and will appeal to those who love paranormal romance.  Do check it out.


I actually haven't gotten into Twilight or The Vampire Diaries for the one reason that I get kind of squicky over the whole 200-yr old male vampire pursuing the teenaged mortal heroine thing.  That's just weird.  Let the girl at least graduate before you nibble on her neck, will you, old man?  ;-)

by PrincessBumblebee on ‎10-16-2009 03:28 PM

MichelleHauf, that last part is too funny and I totallly agree. Gosh, you couldn't find someone at least closer to your age, like say, someone who has their wisdom teeth, hehe.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎10-16-2009 05:14 PM

Hi, LisaK!  No, you do not have to explain to me your penchent for blood and biting -- or your eagerness for the arrival of DKOW.  That's kind of wild that your first plot  had vamps. Were they good or bad or a little of both?  Your comment about 'taking blood from another' is one of the things I didn't understand at first about vamp romance.'  I tell the story a lot -- so unlike me to repeat myself, of course -- about researching vamp romance and folks who like it before starting to write about the books.  I wondered whether a generation that grew up w/ AIDS/HIV never understanding what 'clean blood' was might find attractive the idea of unfettered freedom to share it, especially in ways related to sex, or which became sexual.  And, yeah, the flippin bite thing is so damn hot, surely about trust, but trust plus a bigger reward, the super-orgasm cherry on top.  So cool.  But I don't mean to embarrass you, what with that innocent eye blinking and all. :smileyhappy:



by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎10-16-2009 05:27 PM

Congrats, principessa, on the arrival of the Cole/Showalter!  You're in for a fun night.  I haven't read the Twighlight books either- but clearly feel no compunction about grumping because they're made into movies and not romance vamps.  Clearly they speak to a lot of readers, so that's great especially if it gets lots of young people reading...and gives moms of teens everywhere a bit of sanity while sitting at interminably long practices.

But I'm wondering the same thing as you and Michele Hauf about the age thing.  I guess Edward was turned as a teen so that's ok, is that the premise? I'm really surprised more moms don't find it odd, since so many of them read it.  The author must do a great job of justifying it w/in the plot and backstory?  I guess it's tricky but doable.  Or maybe just a SOD thing.  


But truly, I wonder whether all the adults who read Twilight would like romance vamps?  I wonder where their thinking lies in terms of whether Twighlight novels are more acceptable than romance?  Maybe a lot of them read romance, too. Or would if they tried.  Hmmmm...


We do see the 'age difference' ish brought up in romance vamp stuff, but I've generally seen it as the hero vamp being, like 700 and he's all broody and concerned because the heroine's 30 or, if she's already immortal, maybe 90 immortal years plus her 25 mortals.  That's actually kind of cute. 

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎10-16-2009 05:35 PM

Deb, out of everything, this may be the funniest thing you've ever written: unless you subscribe to the enquirer you really can't read about vampire love on the pages of your local newspaper. And, ok, now I've just got to do Wrath and Hollywood Ward rereads since you and 1la have been talking about them. 

I love that you admit liking to place yourself inthe heroine's position.  It's the best. And that's a good point about the timelessness.  Do you ever find that the flavor of paras can be a mixture of historical as well as contemporary, cause the players have lived so long?  I like when the characters, especially the heroes, still feel a bit 'out of time,' even when they've lived so long.  But maybe that's just like real life, too...   And thanks for the Shannon Drake rec.


by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎10-16-2009 05:37 PM

Oh, and may I just mention that I love how the vamp on the first drop of crimson cover is so hot cause he's got that 'I only drink as much as I need,' half-starved-for-blood look?  sheesh.  so perty.

by 1lovealways on ‎10-16-2009 05:51 PM

Hi Everyone! :smileyhappy:


Michelle, VampChix and Bite Club!  Yes, indeed must, must check them out!


What I love about vamp romance is that the authors have taken this male that is one of the most scariest creatures in the imagination and given him caring and loving qualities that seemed to never exist.  Let's face it, they were always your basic bloodsuckers and that's all.  To me the sensuality and earthiness was there, but I never thought of them as sexy at all.


Now the sensuality, sexiness and earthiness is more apparent than ever!  I mean can they get anymore hotter than they are now!  He's still big and bad, but it's been tamped down just a bit.   When it comes to his woman, he can turn that scary on like big time!  I like the more adult vamp romances.  Kresley Cole (Yay), Amanda Ashley, Jacquelyn Frank and Gena Showalter to name a few authors that are favorites.  As always I stay on the prowl for others (pun intended)!  The young adult ones do nothing for me.  I'd have to say that I'd have no problem being bit by any of these vamps created by these fabulous authors!


I was looking for something new when I got interested in vamp romance.  Historical and contemporary romance was my basic reading matter.  Then one day I found Obsession by Lori Herter.  The blurb on the back sounded good and I bought it.  She then wrote Confession, Possession and Eternity. I don't think she wrote anymore vampire romances after these. At least not that I'm aware of.  After her books, I read Linda Lael Miller's trilogy Forever and the Night, For All Eternity and Time Without End.  These were my beginnings.  There didn't seem to be many more after these, so I didn't read any until Amanda Ashley came along with hers.


I love the vampire romance and I'm not into just vampire alone.  The original Dracula and Salem's Lot still scare the daylights out of me!  To me those are horror only.  While I love these movies, I'd never read the books. 


I don't really have a favorite vamp of all time.  There are soooo many!  My favorite vamp right now is Rhage from J.R. Ward's Lover Eternal.  If anyone would ever tell me that just my voice could bring them peace and soothe whatever is hurting them inside like he told Mary ... well it'd just be Heaven on Earth!  Also, the way she describes him.  This male is sex on two legs, but apparently that's not all to him.  I love that! That's when I'm thinking, let's get down to the nitty gritty!  That good inside stuff that really makes him tick!  I want to explore and unravel what makes mister sexy who he really is!


Hey guys, as always thanks for the recommendations.  There are several I'll definitely check out!

by Lisa_Kroener on ‎10-17-2009 05:46 AM

Michelle, it takes more than that to embarrass me, believe me! :smileyhappy:


Well, as for my story (the one I'm writing at the moment is based on that first one, with the same characters, only grown up, but in the same world and waaaay more elaborated :smileywink: ), I'm not one to divide into good guys and bad guys - everyone has something bad in them, don't they? But the vampires in my story are victims of racist motivations and everything starts with a terrible war against them. My vampire heroine has been on the run for four years and now returns with vengeance on her mind when she joins her best friend's army to battle against those who'd warred against the vampires. IMO, she's the most difficult but also the most interesting one of my character. She becomes rather intolerant herself but of course there arise plenty of difficulties when she learns that two of her siblings have kind of ... "formed a connection", if you want to, with the enemy...


But, well, I won't give away too much since I want to turn that story into a book (yeah, yeah, I've said that for years now, but really, I'm working hard, okay?). Only wanted to show how complex that is.


About the Twilight thing some of you mentioned; my BFF read the books sometime last year when the movie came out (she and some other friends have first seen and than read it). She only talked about it, how much she liked it, how beautiful it was, and so on. I, personally, have never read so much as a sentence in any of the books, and I don't feel like I'll be doing so soon. Whenever I heard people talk about it, I felt like they read some kind of immature version of what I read - I'm a hardcore-romance-erotica-reader, remember? :smileywink: Don't get me wrong, I don't want to offend Mrs Meyer or her books, God forbid, but they just never appealed to me. My BFF, though, would never even think of reading a romance novel. I've a few times talked about that with the gals over at TGB whom I trust absolutely when it comes to books 'cause I know that I mostly feel about certain books like they do. And one said that the books were well-written, really nice stories, but nothing more. Not the object of worship some seem to make of them.




by Moderator becke_davis on ‎10-17-2009 06:13 PM

I like the vamps, but kind of lean more to shifters and werewolves. I think it's the fur and those sexy growls that make them hot!

by Gannon_Carr on ‎10-17-2009 11:37 PM

Oh, yes, I love the vamps!  Michelle, I know what you mean about the appeal of the Upyrs in Emma Holly's novels.  Who wouldn't love a super orgasm?!


Becke, those werewolves are pretty darn hot, too!

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎10-18-2009 12:29 AM

Gannon - Great to see you here!

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎10-18-2009 09:10 AM

I want to add in general to all readers that plotlines discussed in H2H comments by pubbed or YTBP authors are considered their intellectual property (and often copyrighted prop), and it'd be really uncool for them to show up in anybody else's manuscript. 

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎10-18-2009 09:17 AM

Hi, 1la! I don't know these Herters and am gonna look for them. Were you bummed she didn't write more?  And are the LLMs contemporaries, or am I getting em confused w/something else?  Someone mentioned 'Salem's Lot' to me the other day, and it reminded me that that was the first Stephen King I'd read and is scared the bejeepers outta me!  I still have trouble looking out of the window when it's dark cause I think there'll be a vampire floating outside it waiting to meet my eye so he can come inside and turn me.  I also got the sense that girls never made it out alive, but King's books may have changed in that aspect; been a long time since I've read one... (Still creeped out by It on oh, so many levels).


OK, you know, 1la?  I'll just do a Ward reread. sheesh. :smileyhappy:

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎10-18-2009 09:19 AM

Becke, you write: I think it's the fur and those sexy growls that make them hot!


Yet another example of something hot in romance that's not so cool on real-life guys.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎10-18-2009 09:29 AM

Hey, Gannon! Have you read Emma Holly's new Midnight trilogy?  I could barely breath through the first one, and I loved the way the various stories arced through the series.  I understand one of the characters in the bunch whom might surprise one to be thought of this way, ends up being her upcoming hero!



LisaK, I can't wait to read your book!  Someone asked me the other day about whether yet-to-be-pubbed authors should brand themselves online before publication, and I started writing about the number of authors I've met in online communities who've ended up w/ friend/fan bases by the time they've sold.  I like to think of it as years or months I get to spend lobbying to read someone's book before it comes out. :smileyhappy:  Just kidding.  But it really is neat to make the journey with folks who are writing books, and it's the reason I think folks should have web sites, etc., before they're published. It's fun to come along for the ride with someone who's got aspirations, and, conversely, it's inspiring to have folks who believe in you.   So I'll be looking forward to hearing how things are going with your manuscript. :smileyhappy:

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎10-18-2009 12:12 PM

So true, Michelle, and that did cross my mind as I wrote it. And I want to stress, I prefer my fur on LIVE animals.

by on ‎10-18-2009 06:38 PM

Someone mentioned 'Salem's Lot' to me the other day, and it reminded me that that was the first Stephen King I'd read and is scared the bejeepers outta me!  I still have trouble looking out of the window when it's dark cause I think there'll be a vampire floating outside it waiting to meet my eye so he can come inside and turn me.  I also got the sense that girls never made it out alive, but King's books may have changed in that aspect; been a long time since I've read one... (Still creeped out by It on oh, so many levels).


He's gone from a female 25% survival rate to a 40% female survival rate. I think someone called him on it. But hey his wife's books Tabbitha King, she only gives guys a 20% survival rate and chews the survivors up like hamburger. Their both rather rough on their protagonists.


by 1lovealways on ‎10-18-2009 09:24 PM

Hey Michelle!  You'll be able to find those Herters.  Their still available.  The last one ''Eternity," I originally missed when it came out and I got it from Ebay.  I was bummed that she didn't write more.  I could never figure out why, because they were well received.  Both hers and LLM's are contemporaries.  She didn't write any more either as far as I know. 


As for Salem's Lot, I've seen it numerous times and am still scared stiff each time.  That scene where that little boy is tapping on the window just gives me the creeps!  Dracula with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee does as well.  For days after, I always feel as if Christopher Lee is ready to pounce and bite me! :smileyhappy:

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎10-18-2009 11:20 PM

By the way, I've been a fan of Jeaniene Frost since her first Night Huntress books came out -- Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, etc. Great reads! 

by LordRuthven on ‎10-19-2009 06:24 PM

I've said it before, I'll say it again... readers who have just recently discovered vampire fiction really owe it to themselves to read Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Count Saint-Germain series. Saint-Germain was the direct fore-runner to vampire romance, and he's just a great character in general. Yarbro's take on vampires is the most believable I have read, supernatural aspects and all.


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